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Gift From David Mccullough


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A little over a week ago, I received a gift package from David McCullough. I was so thoroughly surprised and upon reading the note inside could not stop being emotional over the package. I called a friend to tell them about the gift and still could not stop my voice cracking and tears spilling down. These marbles are rare. Not many were made as they too were experimental. David must have sent somewhere around 100 of these and also sent some Last Dance that Dale Simmons put together and asked him to send to me. Thank you Dale and David. The marbles are much appreciated and treasured.

The marbles i will show you were made March 26 and 27 of 2008. They were made by David McCullough and Sammy Hogue. The name of the run is "Sammy's Sparkle" and sparkle they do. Each one has mica, aventurine, and oxblood in some.





In the top right hand corner, there is oblood and aventurine.




Some of these marbles are already included in the book "David's JABO Renaissance". They are pictured on page 15 and discussed on pages 13-17. It's an interesting read on the work of David McCullough and Sammy Hogue. It was one of these marbles that was the first JABO 5/8 inch marble to sell on eBay for over a hundred dollars. Edna

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Putting aventurine in and getting aventurine out was historic.

In April 2008 it couldn't be known that it would ever happen again.

These are pix from the auction which closed on April 15 at $178.


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I know a little about the Sammie's Sparkle Run. They were run on March 26, 2008. On the 27th, another experiment was run , but no where nearly as sucessful since they were trying for aventurine and only got oxblood. I was told there were about 34 families, but when I look at them, there seem to be fewer. They were sold in 2 different packs of five at 2 shows and had a signed card in them signed by David. They have been eclipsed by all the experimental runs in terms of recognition, but they are very significant in the history of JABO.

Not only was this the first time JABO had really made the aventurine show,but these marbles changed the amount and visibility of aventurine forever. No longer do you need flood lights and three pairs of trifocals to see the aventurine. you can see it with the naked eye in normal to low light.

On May 17,2008 there was another run called Sammie's Big Brother. These were 3/4 and all on a clear yellow base. There were 4 or five different families with different widths of aventurine. there was also a family in which the aventurine burned out to black, but some held a little of the gold aventurine. It is from these marbles that David really learned to control the width of the stripes and from the ones that held a little of the gold color that he learned how to get the gold to hold and stay in the mibs. The rest of the story you know. To the best of my know , the list of people who have these marbles is very short.

The last time I saw one of the signed groups of five sell was at Decatur this fall and I think they sold on a down tick at $100.

Since that time, there are now experimentals that have up to 5 colors of aventurine in them.

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Bo, I don't sell on ebay. I do sell Tributes and Last Dances if someone contacts me for them. The first Tribute run and the Tributes Last Dance have marbles with blue aventurine. I won't be selling any of the marbles David gave me. If you are wanting to buy some of those marbles, PM me. I know someone who has some for sale. Edna

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Edna, So if I understand you correctly?David has the good stuff and gives them as gifts to his freinds to be sold privately?And the least favorite marbles get sold on ebay.So If I just wait a little or alot longer, maybe some of the really good stuff will be on ebay? after the mill run stuff is gone?Sure would like to see some pictures of Jabo's with five colors of aventurine,can you do that?I can just imagine what they look like but really would like to see the real thing.Bo

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No, that's not what I said "David saves the good stuff and gives them to his friends to be sold privately". David and Sammy Hogue made those marbles. David gives them away. I suppose like me, he doesn't care what people do with them after he's given them. I don't put strings on my gifts. I believe the one that went so high was a marble that David's son sold. Someone who knows for sure can answer that.

David has the same marbles from his run that everyone else has. He does keep a sample set of everything made - never to be sold. Each of the experimental runs for 2008 gave David some of everything made. David gives away his experimental runs. If you ever visited JABO you came away with pockets full of marbles that David gave you. Last March, my grandson and I were at Disney in Florida. David, wife, grand daughter were there too. David reached in his pocket and pulled out a red and white marble and gave it to me. He told me it was the last family of marbles to be made under the JABO name. The factory was closed down at that time. David had probably been giving those marbles to children he met at Disney.

You really don't understand glass people. They don't keep stuff usually. Robert L. Hamon kept nothing. His children and nieces and nephews have very little of his work. Some of them have his work because Weldon and I gave them marbles their uncle made. These folks grew up in the great depression. They were selling it as fast as they made it. remember they could always make another one. It didn't seem to matter to them that they never went back and made another one. The idea was that they could if they wanted to. Boyd Allen Miller, nephew of Robert Hamon and a good bit my junior in age has kept that tradition. He doesn't keep things he makes. The glass men make the work to be sold and sold it is. We have cautioned Boyd to put some things back for his son. Don't think he has. We've been told that out of staters value the glass much more than those who were born in West Virginia and grew up around it. The glass is common place to them. It's a treasure to us out of staters.

I think one of the Joker runs had red aventurine. The Peltier Mansions may have had some red aventurine also. The Tributes do not have red. While I have some of all the other experimental runs, I do not have all of the Jinks, Marleys, or Aces or Eagles. I can't speak for them. I'm sure someone involved could tell you.

What the Tributes have that I don't think the other experimental runs have is goldstone, oxblood, and aventurine in the same marble. We also have as many as 7 colors in one marble. I do not know of anyone's experimentals having goldstone and all the other colors of aventurine in one marble.

If you had beatiful marbles and wanted to sell the worst first and save the best for last would you do that? I don't know anybody doing that. Wouldn't that make people angry when they found out they had not spent their money on the marbles they really wanted? I wouldn't be buying any more of their marbles.

Since I paid for my share of marbles, Weldon and I that is, we got to see them first and pick the ones we wanted to keep. "Our" marbles are in collector boxes never to be sold. There are too many great ones for us to keep them all. I have 7 Golden Flamencos, that's all of my share so they are an exception. My collector boxes hold 7 in a row. So, I kept all 7. I won't sell any Golden Flamencos. However, other people got that many or more. They may not keep them all. Watch for those going on sale. There are some of every thing made that are for sale. Nothing is held back.


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I left out something in my post. I didn't have 7 of everything to keep. Another investor sent me what I was missing. I didn't get 7 of the Flamencos without goldstone so my friends are mailing me that one. If they need a marble they didn't get, they will ask and I will give.

Ron Shepherd, are you finished going through yours? Did you find Bouncy Betty and Golden Betty? I have some.

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Bo, Bo, Bo,

David only keeps one set of everything and they are put together for him by Dale so he, too, gets what he gets.

The only real marketing for JABO is the little care packages that David sends to people as gifts after the run.

There were so few of the Sammie's Sparkle Run experiment that none of the really great ones filled a pint jar. A few were, as always thrown in with the general mix in the Gaylord boxes.

Naturally, these marbles would be given to the people who have worked most closely with the company so that those folks would have a more complete collection so they would have a documented history of the company. These people were all aware of the experiments and many others.They were an experiment! As a matter of fact, most people lost interest in them when the experimental runs began. For example, I had an Irish Eyes in my store for 4 months that I know you saw and never asked about and it was finally sold in December. Most of mine, I gave to other JABO collectors for the same reasons Dave gave his to folks. I have some left.

There is a group of people who trade JABOs among themselves, not by Dollar value, but one to one so each has a broader and more complete collection. There is one guy I trade with, who I just tell to take what he wants and then he sends back things I don't have or know about. He has probably taken 200 to 300 mibs from me and sent me wonderful new pieces back...never counted how many I got back nor questioned how many of mine he took. We have never once discussed money or value...we have just tried to make sure the other guy's collection is complete.

Yesterday, I got call from a friend who chuckled that he had out bid me some rare ones that neither had seen before. I knew If I won them, I would send him half of them. He was smarter than I and asked the seller if he had a second set so I would get some too. So, unknowingly we bid against each other and he won. I hope I can buy some too.

He is a Pelt guy who has worked hard on JABO for 10 or 12 years.

The five color aventurine along with 4, 3, and 2 color were an experiment done the day before the Last Dance Run. There might have been total of all of them around 200ish. They sat on a table in the packing room for members of the group to take. I got what was left. We didn't even take the time with the five colors to use the correct size fritt so some of the colors didn't even melt all the way into the glass. BUT, they proved that if it worked on the harder industrial glass it would work on the softer play marble glass.

As the number of colors went down in the marbles, the results were better and the marbles a little more plentiful.

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